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CAPITALISM, DEMOCRACY, AND SOCIAL THEORY IN KARL POLANYI: AN INTERVIEW WITH GARETH DALE

Abstract

A

n introduction to the interview with Gareth Dale (Brunel University) − a political economist and expert on Karl Polanyi’s life and work − and to a set of papers, inspired by the Polanyian approach, published in the current issue of S&A. The paper highlights key questions presented in the interview and in Dale’s work, with a focus on the recent literature produced about the author, the continuous and widespread relevance of Polanyi’s ideas for the understanding of capitalism and democracy, and a critical and open reading of his theoretical contributions. Next, the paper presents the specific contributions, both theoretical and empirical, of four original papers that actively dip into Polanyian concepts in understanding the plurality of the embeddedness processes and the dynamics of the double movement, the commodification of land and labor, and the centrality of the marketplace in contemporary capitalism; as well as the contributions of a research recording and of two book reviews on economic agencies and pedagogies and the financialization of everyday life.

Keywords:
Karl Polanyi; Gareth Dale; capitalism; democracy; market

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